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March 20. 2014 11:13PM

Adoptive homes sought for foster children

MANCHESTER — In the world of adoption, there is a group of kids stuck in the foster care system who need a good home.

Hoping to bridge the divide between those kids and a good home is the Adoptive Families for Children Foundation, which held an event Thursday evening to spread its message to a broader audience and raise some money to help families with the costs of adoption.

“The foundation is an opportunity to raise awareness of the number of children in foster care in New Hampshire that need permanent homes,” said Concord adoption attorney Jim Bianco, who helped create the foundation about two years ago and was among the authors of New Hampshire’s 1973 adoption law.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a speech that while the federal government provides a $13,000 tax credit for those who adopt, the credit covers only a small part of adoption costs, which can be as high as $40,000, and often doesn’t cover continuing medical or therapeutic care adoptive children often need.

“We need to work to ensure that all children have the opportunity to be part of a committed, loving family, and we need more families who are willing and able to take care of these children,” she said. “And we’ve got to do better to support these families who choose to do so. I know that’s what this effort is about.”

The foundation works with the state Division of Children, Youth and Families to identify potential children for adoption.

According to its mission statement, the foundation helps recruit individuals and families to pursue adoption and then provides financial assistance to adoptive parents for the adoption process and continuing care because, “it is the belief of the AFFC Foundation that no child should be denied permanency with a family because of financial barriers.”

Foundation board member Dick Chevrefils said the idea was to provide assistance to find families for older children who may face more hurdles to adoption.

“So we’re trying to help support the child to achieve a permanent home through adoption and at the same time helping families who might not have the financial resources to pay for the legal process and might not have the financial resources to pay the medical costs,” he said. “So we help them so they can position themselves to be adoptive couples.”

“Certainly, it should not cost $40,000 to take a child and try to help them and change their lives,” Mayor Ted Gatsas said. “If you’re digging deep, dig a little deeper. If you’re going to help, help a little harder.”

tbuckland@unionleader.com


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